Most of you reading this have read AustNET Exposed. This is my response as a regular and long-time user.
Firstly, despite the legal smoke screen the author throws up, the article is clearly slander, as per statements like:
If they stop downloading animal porn then they might get the job done.
Secondly, despite the claim that the site is "used for educational / training purposes only." the article calls on the reader to sell and otherwise abuse personal information supplied on the opers. This is hypocrisy at its finest.
Aside from the self-righteous claims and pathetic attempt to legalise their fear mongering, the authors make it clear why they are banned with golden lines like:
"We dare you, not to remove the glines set on us. "
They preach that DDoS is bad and we shouldn't do it. Yet they make it crystal clear they are prepared to. Hypocrisy pours from this article like water from the sea.
These people express their dissatisfaction for AustNET's service by - wait for it - attacking the netwok. Thats logic for you. Granted, the coders may be ignoring the problems presented, but I fail to see how attacking the servers which host AustNET, or threatening the people who run it will do any good. It only serves to increase the distance between the two groups. These same people then go and get angry - self-righteously angry in fact - because of the fact they are no longer welcome on a network they attacked.
To that I say: good riddance.
I can't stand people who disrupt other people's lives for their own goals, however noble they may be. Good can not be served through evil because then evil is justified. For the same reason AustNET can not be improved by fear, intimidation, disruption, or deception. If the authors genuinely believe in bettering AustNET they should have opened active dialogue with the operators instead of disrupting AustNET's servers and threatening the people who run it.
People who I despise even more than the above are people who attack other people's work. The keyword here is attack not criticise. AustNET is maintained through the work of the operators. It's a not-for-profit network and organisation and like all such organisations, it has its foundation in passion. Passion for an idea, a way of life, a culture, and most importantly, passion for the users. To criticise is accepted and welcomed - this is how Little Things grow into Big Things. To attack is dishonorable and pathetic - no one is being forced to use AustNET, so why do they even bother? Why don't they move on to the millions of other networks like their favorite ozzinet.org? Because they haven't got a life, because they are so pathetic that they must make themselves feel better by ruining other people's fun and gain from it some small sense of power to cover their own insecurities.
I have met some of these people at ruxcon 2004. In real life they are no better. These are the punks of cyberspace, their acts the cyber equivalent of graffiti, defacement, deliberate damage. It's unfortunate then that the only way to stop them is through stricter control - just like in real life. The operators are our cyber police and like real world police, they must from time to time act with an iron fist to ensure peace.
To the operators of AustNET, I extend my gratitude and thanks. I cut my teeth on AustNET - it was the first IRC network I used. I have met great friends online, and these same people taught me things I would never have learned by myself at a young age of 15: networking, coding, philosophy, life. I learned to be humble, to be polite. I found people of like interest, people who are smarter, better, funnier; people who are willing to teach, learn. In short the people I met on IRC helped me to deal with people in real life, for despite the metaphysical avatar we adopt online, our true selves still shine through. Communities have risen from the initial chaos, friendships formed from tentative a/s/l's. All of this would not have been possible without the people behind AustNET and their passion.
So once again ladies and gentlemen, to the operators who keep it running: thank you.